Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Some of the GOP presidential candidates are demanding equal time after Donald Trump got to host Saturday Night Live. In Sara Jerde's piece there's a letter from Sen. Lindsey Graham asking for equal time. But isn't 180 appearances on Meet the Press at least an even trade?

TPM Reader BF wonders why we frame all our potential military actions around the need to stay ...

A major problem with ISIS strategy is the "exit strategy" issue. Basically, we've become self-deterred about any serious military response to ISIS because we're worried about how to get out if we get in. If we put "boots on the ground" (somehow SOF doesn't count), there is a sense that we'll get stuck.

This is a purely self-inflicted limitation. It is based on the notion that all uses of force must result in outcomes that are both durably stable and improve the condition of the people on the ground. In short, the notion is that we should only use ground forces when they can assure that the threat "never again" recurs and that by using force we are obligated to fix things (the Pottery Barn rule -- you broke it, you bought it).

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I wanted to share a few thoughts on Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris and where this leaves the United States in terms of Syria, Iraq and the entirety of the Middle East where, with all our withdrawals, we still remain involved and at war in various ways. I do not believe we can properly assess what happened in Paris without noting that it is less the product of an organization or statelet on the march than one under threat. ISIS has managed to hold on in the face of significant Western military intervention over the last year. But the physical footprint of ISIS has been reduced by roughly 25%.

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This struck me as a surprisingly substantive debate - not just compared to the Republican debates, a low bar, but the earlier Democratic one too. A hard hitting and spirited exchange on national security and ISIS, with some real digging into the backstory of the invasion of Iraq, the final withdrawal of American troops, etc. Then a similar exchange on banks and the financial sector - though someone explaining what Glass–Steagall was might have helped. The fact that the debate about whether commercial banks should also do investment banking still goes under the rubric of a 30s era piece of legislation tells you a lot about the difference between Democratic and Republican politics.

As I said, there was less focus and intensity as the debate moved on to policing, Black Lives Matter, health care, etc. I think that's because the divisions simply aren't as clear. Secondarily, the candidates seemed to draw back from the intensity of the first hour. On balance, I'd say it's a win for Hillary Clinton - not because she necessarily did better than Sanders but because she's now ahead and I did not see anything happen that looks likely to change that dynamic.

10:45 PM: So, some brief thoughts: Intense and compelling in the initial phase on national security and again on banks. After that, the lines weren't as clearly drawn, as the debate moved to policing, Black Lives Matter, health care, etc ... At the same time, Clinton seemed to get her footing over the course of the debate.